Well, I was wrong on my prediction that Trump would win. But the main question here is not whether Trump lost, but how Trump lost. And he lost like this:
That Cruz blotch in the Southeast almost seems to have come out of nowhere.
Before today, I thought Cruz was still a religious-populist candidate in the manner of Huckabee and Santorum. In fact, Cruz won only two of the counties that Huckabee won, while Santorum (who didn’t win Wisconsin) won every one and then some (though Cruz did win Eau Claire, one of Huckabee’s best counties). This builds on the pattern in Missouri, where Cruz won the densely-populated parts of the state (except the region of St. Louis, which learned from the Ferguson effect), while Trump won the vast majority of the countryside. Santorum, meanwhile, won all Missouri’s counties. The best indicators of a good Trump performance in Wisconsin this time around were low population density and a high poverty rate (but not, strangely enough, low unemployment, especially in the parts of the state that Cruz won).
Cruz easily appealed to the men (and women) of great wealth and family strength. His best county, Washington County, is Wisconsin’s fifth-richest by per capita income, and went 61% for McCain and 54.7% for Romney in the primaries. Trump’s worst county in Wisconsin was, and not by coincidence, Wisconsin’s richest. Cruz won every single county in which Romney got the majority of the vote in the 2012 GOP primary.
Kasich performed worse, but in exactly the same places, as he was expected to:
From the FiveThirtyEight polling average, Trump performed one percentage point better than expected, Cruz performed 6.4 percentage points better than expected, and Kasich performed 7.7 percentage points worse than expected.
The distinction between southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois deserves to be studied further.
Now, for the prospective. Trump is certain to win New York. He will probably do so with a majority of the vote. The congressional districts are a wildcard; the rich ones are more likely to go for Kasich than for Cruz, although I predict at least one will go for Cruz. If Trump manages to win all New York’s congressional districts, this poses good fortunes for him in Cali.